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[WHITE PAPER] Download: The Complete Guide to Understanding & Benefiting from Inbound Freight Programs

inbound freight programs

Cerasis, a third party logistics company with a strong focus on inbound freight management, announces the release of a new white paper entitled, “The Complete Guide to Understanding & Benefiting from Inbound Freight Programs.” Those interested in obtaining a copy of the white paper may fill out the form to the right to access it.

The white paper is perfect for shippers who are receiving freight regularly inbound and are looking for best practices and strategies around how to effectively manage and prosper in this area by deploying inbound freight programs. Managing inbound freight effectively can be challenging, but the obstacles don’t have to deter you from the benefits. Our experts map out detours to help you reach your goal.

With the focus on technology and managed transportation services as a third party logistics company, Cerasis is well poised to teach shippers about effective inbound freight programs in this industry leading white paper. A good third party logistics provider will improve cost, on-time performance, freight damage, billing accuracy and devise custom strategies for inbound freight programs based on years of tried and true solutions and best in class technology. The best 3PLs provide free web based software along with logistics experts that will drive continuous improvement.

All too often, shippers do not make inbound freight programs a supply chain priority. Managing and controlling inbound effectively is a difficult process, and one that can pit various departments within an organization against each other. In addition, tweaking inbound freight flows can sometimes upset delicate transportation agreements for the shipper, receiver, or both.

Why Effectively Managing Inbound Freight Programs in the Supply Chain Matters

The upside with inbound freight programs done right are the opportunity to take costs out of the supply chain, improve predictability and reliability, and boost service and operational excellence. This is why it makes pursuing an inbound freight management plan worthwhile. The changes can be as simple as collaborating with suppliers to gain a more accurate picture of inbound freight spend, or as complex as changing freight terms with all trading partners so you pay for, and control, all inbound shipments.

“Our freight desk, manned by our team of inbound freight routing specialists, handles more than 3,000 phone calls or emails per week managing and processing inbound freight programs and optimization for our customers,” said Ginny Devlaminck, Freight Desk Manager. “Our inbound freight routing specialists work with our customers’ suppliers and anyone inbounding freight to our customers. It takes a tremendous amount of burden off our shippers saving them both process time and money, as all inbound freight is routed through our proprietary TMS.”

Either way, as transportation continues to be the leading cost element in supply chain management, now is as good a time as any to take another look at inbound freight. After reading this inbound freight programs white paper, companies will have more confidence in approaching the deployment either in-house or with a 3PL  to effectively manage inbound freight through technology and efficiency.

The Coming Vendor Module to the Cerasis Transportation Management System for Better Inbound Freight Management

In the coming few next months, Cerasis will also release a version of our transportation management system, the Cerasis Rater, for our shippers suppliers and vendors. In this new vendor module, Cerasis will instruct our shippers’ vendors and suppliers that they can access the vendor TMS and schedule pick ups through the same great features and tools within the full TMS. This allows for more business continuity and gives more analytics for the shipper to continually improve performances and collaboratively work with vendors and suppliers based on data vs. gut feeling. It will also speed up our own internal service for those who still want to call and email. The final benefit, is that as a shipper, now your vendor will have a tool to automate their lives and streamline creations and notifications around bills-of-lading and tracking information.

The World of Inbound Freight is a lot of Moving Parts

inbound freight programs dockThough it sounds simple, inbound freight is a complicated issue. Think about how difficult it can be just to gather all the data on inbound freight spend. A large retailer, for instance, could have 5,000 trading partners shipping goods to its facilities.

Determining the financial impact of taking over inbound freight is also challenging. If a company uses a supplier with multiple facilities around the country, it may make sense to control the inbound freight in some areas, but not in others, because the economics are different.

In addition, consider these operational issues if a company decides to pick up goods at a supplier’s facility: What are the hours of operation? How many dock doors are available? Are pickup appointments required? Does the company use a drop trailer program?

As a transportation or logistics manager, or as a business owner or executive, you understand the challenge of keeping up with the following:

  • Running an effective inbound freight program, working with many suppliers
  • Having to continually negotiate and keep up relations with carriers, year after year, and rate increase after rate increase, to ensure you are getting the best rates for your lanes and shipping history
  • Managing inbound freight is hard work, but it can pay off big time with the right data. But how will you pull the basic analytics to obtain a fact-based understanding of your transportation operations?
  • Understanding how the inbound freight program works in and of itself: Will they be able to set up a Web-based routing guide? How will they put charge-backs into effect? How will they ensure vendor compliance? How should they source their carrier base?
  • Inbound product is purchased and controlled by the procurement department, not the supply chain department, so inbound freight lacks collaboration. Are you able to bring data and an easy to use routing guide to this collaboration?

Those who download the white paper will gain a deep understanding of how to effectively manage and understand the nuances of LTL freight shipping. The white paper will cover the following topics:

  • An Introduction to the Landscape of How Big is the Problem of Inbound Freight Management
  • 3 Challenges Logistics Executives Face in Inbound Freight Shipping
  • 8 Objectives to Consider and 4 Areas of Focus for Confident Inbound Freight Management
  • How TMS Automation Aids in Inbound Freight Management and What to Require in a TMS
  • The Advantage of Combining both expert service and technology for Inbound Freight Management

What is the reward for deploying effective inbound freight programs for shippers? The benefits include significant supply chain cost reductions, improved transportation efficiency, better control over incoming goods, a boost in customer service, reduction in cycle time, and even freedom from legal headaches.

Managing inbound freight is not about being the big guy in town and controlling everything. Rather, it is a key driver of improving supply chain performance, and a way to reduce costs. Gaining visibility around inbound freight helps companies understand the available service and cost tradeoffs, which allows them to make more cost-effective decisions. If you can impact your order management process, for example, you can potentially save a lot of money.